Saturday, April 21, 2018

Axminister - The Crucible of Sin

Label: Self-release

Some times it really is worth looking at the promo sheet. It would have been easy to ignore Toronto band, Axminister simply due to the piles of death and black metal that comes this way and just write them off as another band that will only appeal to fans of those sub-genres and not write about them at all. However the publicity sheet recommends the band for fans of Iron Maiden, Manowar, Slayer and Megadeth. So, there is a warning that it's time to get prepared for revved up speed metal.

It's immediately apparent that Dave Mustaine is a huge influence on the vocal style of Nicholaus Klaus as he employs an incredibly similar snarl. The riffing and song structure of "Prey" and "Salvation" have also been learned from the Megadeth textbook. There's a definite Manowar influence on the chest-beating chorus of "The Trials of Hercules". The vocals are raspier and the chorus isn't quite as catchy as it might have been. The song's best moments are when the vocals stop and the instruments are given a metallic thrashing. The intro to "The Succubus and The Crucible of Sins" is in a sea shanty style that is reminiscent of many a viking and folk metal band however Axminister veer away from the ocean as their desired pirate booty contains thrash metal.

There is undeniable Slayer influence creeping through "Sanctus Equitus Mortis" and strangely the vocals are their strongest on this tune. Axminister add a little melody to the tune and, after a tempo change and a couple of layered choruses, the song then ends in a much more traditional heavy metal fashion.

It's hard to shake the feeling that this is a band still trying to find their own sound. Despite that the Mustaine snarls are great and more of them throughout the EP would have been nice.

Release Date: 4 May 2018


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